Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it doesn’t make a game better.
Following the blueprint of Overcooked (Team 17’s near-perfect couch co-op cooking game), Inertia Game Studios swaps chefs for a crew of expendable rookie space cadets who must work together to safely travel across the universe. The game is called Catastronauts and it involves you and your crew working together to fight off alien invaders while piloting a ship that is constantly under enemy attack. Each stage sees you facing off against invading forces as you run around repairing damage, extinguishing fires and shooting your laser cannons at the hostile enemy ships.
Anyone who’s played Overcooked won’t be able to shake just how similar Catastronauts is to that game. Much like Overcooked, Catastronauts is a co-op party game in which one to four people, must work in tandem as they run around frantically multitasking. Communication is just as important here as it is in Overcooked – not only must your team divide tasks evenly, but everyone must be prepared to adapt at a moment’s notice. And like Overcooked, Catastronauts eases you in gently, slowly increasing the difficulty with each and every level as things spiral out of control. The more frantic it gets, the more obstacles you’ll face.
I guess if you’ve finished Overcooked and its sequel, and are looking for a similarly chaotic co-operative experience, Catastronauts might just be what you’re looking for. Unfortunately for me, the sci-fi party game brought nothing new to the genre including its setting and premise which can be found in another (and far superior) multiplayer couch co-op indie, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.
The other problem with Catastronauts is that visually, it lacks the gorgeous visuals found in a game like Lovers, and the charming characters found in a game like Overcooked resulting in characters with little to no personality and stages that all closely resemble the one before it.
It isn’t that I don’t recommend the game but rather I would recommend both Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time and Overcooked instead. Having said that, part of Catastronauts’ appeal is how accessible everything is. The game is simple to pick up and easy to play thanks with its mechanics and two button controls making it a great party game for when you invite guests over for a game night. But solo gamers be warned: while the game can be played in single-player mode, it was primarily designed primarily for multiplayer action in mind. So if you have nobody to play with, you may want to think twice before spending your hard-earned money.
- Ricky D